Soups, Stews, & Chowders

Butternut Squash Bisque with Garlic Marshmallows and Spiced Pepitas

It’s hard to imagine a more autumn-appropriate dish than this silky butternut squash bisque topped with garlic marshmallows and spiced pepitas.

By Yankee Magazine

Nov 08 2017


Butternut Squash Bisque with Garlic Marshmallows & Spiced Pepitas

Photo Credit : Mark Fleming

It’s hard to imagine a more autumn-appropriate dish than this butternut squash bisque from Stacy Cogswell, executive chef at Artistry on the Green at the Inn at Hastings Park in Lexington, Massachusetts. It incorporates into one bowl some of the fall things we love best: butternut squash, spice, and marshmallows. The savory marshmallows and crunchy spiced pepitas elevate this simple soup to a potential dinner party course; however, the bisque is just as delicious on its own.

Note: This butternut squash bisque recipe can be made a couple of days in advance and reheated, provided it’s kept in the refrigerator in the interim. To serve, pour the hot bisque into a serving bowl and drop two garlic marshmallows on top. For an extra-impressive presentation, use a kitchen torch to brûlée the tops of the marshmallows. Sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons of spiced pepitas and 1 teaspoon of sea salt on top. Serve immediately.

For the Butternut Squash Bisque


1 butternut squash (about 4 pounds)
2 1/2 pounds onions, sliced
1 pound leeks, sliced
2 cups sherry
2 teaspoons nutmeg
5 sage leaves
2 teaspoons chili flakes
2 tablespoons salt
4 quarts vegetable stock


Preheat the oven to 400°. Cut the squash in half and scrape out the seeds. Roast the squash halves, cut side down, until tender. Once cool enough to handle, scrape out the flesh and set flesh aside. Discard skin.

Sweat the onions, leeks, sherry, spices, and salt. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Add the squash and vegetable stock. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.

Purée the soup with an immersion or regular blender. If making ahead, allow the soup to cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.

For the Garlic Marshmallows


Marshmallow syrup:
1 cup water
2 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Roasted garlic purée:
2 cups garlic cloves
2 cups canola oil
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cold water
2 gelatin packets or 1 1/2 teaspoons gelatin
1/3 cup water
3/4 cup marshmallow syrup (see above)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup roasted garlic purée (see above)
2 teaspoons Bell’s Seasoning


To make the marshmallow syrup: Place all ingredients into a 4-quart heavy pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Insert a candy thermometer into the pan, and boil, without stirring, until the syrup reaches 140°. Remove from heat and let cool for 15 minutes.

To make the roasted garlic purée: Place the garlic and canola oil into a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the garlic is browned and soft, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Once cooled, strain the oil and save it for other cooking projects. Purée the garlic in a blender or crush it in a bowl, using the back of a spoon, until it forms a paste.

To make the marshmallows: Place the cold water and gelatin into the bowl of a mixer. Set aside to allow the gelatin to bloom.

In a saucepan, bring the rest of the ingredients except the garlic purée to a boil. Cook until the temperature reaches 280°. Remove from heat and set aside.

Turn on the mixer and start breaking up the bloomed gelatin on low speed. Then slowly drizzle in the sugar mixture. Once all of the sugar mixture is in the bowl, cover with a towel and turn the speed up to high. Whip for 10 to 15 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the garlic purée and Bell’s seasoning in batches on medium speed.

Spray a half sheet pan with pan spray and cover it with plastic wrap. Spray the plastic wrap with the pan spray. Pour the marshmallow mixture onto the half sheet and level it out using a spatula. Cover it and refrigerate for 24 hours.

After 24 hours, using clean scissors, you can cut the marshmallows into 1/2-inch pieces. If not using right away, you can store it covered in a refrigerator for up to a month.

For the Spiced Pepitas


1 cup pepitas
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning (such as McCormick)


Preheat oven to 350°. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Transfer to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake until toasted and slightly dark, about 10 minutes.